Dean Smith: National Youth Film Academy Review

Dean Smith: National Youth Film Academy Review

Dean Smith took part in our Easter 2018 #SetReady course and has since gone on to become one of our 2019 Emerging Brits.

Here’s what he had to say about his experience with the National Youth Film Academy;

The National Youth Film Academy SERIOUSLY changed my life!

Telling you its good just isn’t going to cut it, so I’m going to tell you my whole experience!

From a young age I knew acting was where I felt comfortable, and if possible it was where I wanted to be. However, growing up in a small country town in Derbyshire and spending the first 11 years of my life working on my grandparents farm, acting never felt like a possibility to me.

My mum worked in a veterinary surgery and my dad drove HGV’s (as so did most of my family) whilst also juggling the farm. I finished college doing a BTEC National Diploma in acting and all I knew was that I needed an agent, but I had no clue on how to get one.

Before I knew it I was working away, driving trucks up and down the country delivering many different things and my dream faded with it, until I saw the National Youth Film Academy advertising for actors on Facebook. I signed up, giving myself one last shot.

From this, I did an audition to get onto the #SetReady course and successfully made it through.

Remember, I hadn’t learnt a monologue in six years, so I was a nervous wreck! I walked into the room and there was this man, suited and booted, and within seconds he calmed me down and treated me with such respect. I walked out of that room thinking “was that even an audition?”

Before I knew it, I was down London sat in Cineworld at the o2 arena, with the very same guy giving me a speech about what we were to expect over the next two weeks, and I remember thinking how amazing it felt to be sat in a room with this great amount of people who are all aspiring to do the same thing – the possibilities for connections were unbelievable!

So, I made as many friends and spoke to as many people as possible and before we knew it, we were planning films throughout the next year!

Over the next two weeks, whilst working on our film, we attended workshops with Sue Jones (Casting Director), Gareth Edwards (Director) and many more.

From these workshops, I was shown what a showreel must look like, as well as how to look for and approach an agent.

After finishing this amazing course, I kept in touch with the National Youth Film Academy, and I had an audition for a Sky series, which was to star Michelle Keegan.

Later on in the year, I also got signed by a great agency, and by December I was on my very first paid acting job in a UK tour of the Sleeping Beauty pantomime.

I’m now working towards the emerging Brits course!

So, i’m not saying they do it all for you – I made this happen! But without the knowledge and confidence the National Youth Film Academy gave me, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today!

Dean Smith, National Youth Film Academy Member

More Reviews

Matthew Sharpe review.

Georgie Muya review.

Are you #SetReady?

Apply for our #SetReady course here.

Want to be part of something special?

Start your career

Gods of the Marsh - Emerging Brits Shoot

News, Success Stories | September 23, 2019

Summer Shorts - On in 15

News, Success Stories | September 23, 2019

April 2019 Set Ready: Showreel

Event, News, Success Stories | June 18, 2019

Free Training with Procam? Sound!

Advice and Guidance, Event, News | June 18, 2019